Water exercises put less stress on the joints making it a perfect exercise for seniors. The water acts as a form of resistance, so strength exercises can be performed in the pool without heavy weights. Flexibility, balance, bone density and cardiovascular functions are increased while muscle-loss is decreased. Water workouts are a perfect alternative to exercising at the gym. Have you tried a water class yet?
This week, we did an Aqua Fitness Question and Answer session with Kari Richie, our Wellness Center Director.
Can you give us a short description of the classes offered at the Springmoor pools?
Aqua Basic – 45 minutes of fundamental water exercises to improve strength, range of motion, and balance.
Aqua Challenge – 45 minutes of challenging water exercises with a strong emphasis on cardiovascular endurance.
Aqua Free Time – The pool is supervised by a Health & Fitness Staff Member, allowing the residents to swim, walk or exercise at their own pace.
What level of difficulty is each class?
Aqua Challenge is in our “C” category, making it the highest level of difficulty. Modifications can be provided for different needs.
Aqua Basic is considered a “B” category… not as intense or fast paced.
Aqua Free Time is great for those who are motivated and like to exercise on their own.
Is one better than another for sore muscles or arthritis or other ailments? Do the physical therapy instructors also help?
Aqua Basic is the best option for those who have arthritis, chronic pain, or starting to exercise after a joint surgery or injury.
Physical Therapists do not teach classes but they can provide Aquatic Therapy for patients in the facility.
Water volleyball is a new monthly resident activity. Does the Wellness staff play too? Do you have an audience/cheering section?
The staff participates with the residents and we have a lot of fun!!! Cheering sections are welcome. We laugh and get a good workout while playing. (We don’t keep score.)
Lap swim – when, where and who?
Residents can lap swim during Aqua Free Time: Mon/Wed/Fri from 9:00 – 10:00 am or Mon/Wed from 1:30 – 2:30 pm.
Residents can use the pool on their own during non-programming hours. We strongly encourage the buddy rule.
Which resident swims the most laps (each day, each week)?
John Neal swims the most laps at one time. He swims a minimum of a mile three days a week (72 lengths plus another 6 to 8 laps just to be sure he counted correctly). Don & Jane Priess win the most consistent award. They come early in the morning and do their own routine.
Swimming in North Village – is this smaller pool just for aerobics? Anything else?
The Fitness Staff provides an Aqua Basic class in the NV Pool on Tues/Thurs at 9:15 am. A resident led group meets at 6:30 am on Tues/Thurs/Sat.
Some residents will use the pool on their own time to do their home exercise routine.
Time for play in the pool with grandchildren – how does this work?
Residents can enjoy spending time with their family while using the pool. We have several families who take advantage of this and they have so much fun! The rules are: residents must be present with their guests in the pool area at all times. We currently do not have “guest hours.” Residents may bring their guests any time there isn’t a scheduled program. Residents have first priority of the pool area.
Do residents do laps with kick boards or other equipment for lap swims?
Some residents swim laps with kick boards and others use the noodles or aqua dumbbells while water walking.
The hot tub and spa – tell us about this Wellness Center amenity.
The spa is popular after the Aqua classes as part of their cool down and relaxation time. It also becomes social time as they sit and relax with the jets on, talking and laughing with their friends. Some people only come to use the spa because of joint pain.
What is the most popular class? Why?
Aqua Challenge is the most popular class because it provides a good cardio and strength workout for all levels. Those who like the challenge can push themselves to their limit and those who like to take it easy can go at a slower pace and modify some of the movements.
What is the best class for beginners?
Aqua Basic is the best because it is slower paced and focuses on strength, range of motion, and balance.
What is the best class for life-long swimmers?
Aqua Challenge or Aqua Free Time
What hours is the pool open? Are there any special dos and don’ts?
The pool is open from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm. The programming hours are listed on the Fitness Calendar in the back of the monthly Springtimes. Hydration is important! Even though you feel like you’re not working as hard, you still need to drink plenty of water before and after your exercise in the water. It’s even more important to be hydrated if you spend time in the spa because of the warmer temperature. Always get out of the water if you experience dizziness, cramping, or chest pain.
Do any of the Springmoor Fitness Instructors have a swimming background?
Becky Boulo is our head Aquatic Instructor. Swimming has been a big part of her life. She taught swimming lessons all through college and even taught Swim 101 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Becky ran summer camps for the Aleut and Yupik Indians in Northern Alaska Villages through a program to help children learn to swim to reduce the rate of drowning. Becky also taught Aqua Fitness classes in the 1980’s when it first became popular. When she moved to North Carolina, Becky helped start the Summer Swim Team in her subdivision where her daughter started at the age of 5 and is now a collegiate swimmer at the University of Idaho. Becky has been teaching at Springmoor for over 5 years!
The rest of the fitness staff holds various certifications and helps teach some of the aquatic classes.
Now that you have retired, what are you doing with all of your free time? The Administration for Community Living has declared this Older American Month and is asking the same question. They are challenging us to Age Out Loud: Are you taking charge? Are you striving for wellness? Are you focusing on your independence? Are you advocating for yourself and others?
We ask these questions to one of our newest residents, Jan Hagarty. She toured the Springmoor Community with her son and her daughter-in law. They live in the area and thought it would be a great place for her to really retire. Really, meaning better weather and closer to her family. The words, slowing down are not in her vocabulary.
Jan and her husband raised two boys in the Northern Virginia area. When their youngest was only five, they decided as a family that they should have a group project to help others. As a nurse, administrator, volunteer, mother and teacher, she describes herself more as a server than a taker. Teaching their boys this lesson was important to the Hagarty family.
Their youngest son, Kevin, suggested they become a foster family. He wanted one of his classmates to come and live with them. The idea was hatched and 21 children later; the family has been a strong advocate for foster parenting and adoption. Their seventh foster child, Marvin, came to them when he was only five days old. He was adopted into their family at age two.
When Jan and her husband decided to leave the hectic life-style and traffic congestion in the DC area, they moved to the mountains of West Virginia. Her husband was quick to say, “we are going to volunteer, we are going to be involved and we are going to make a difference in our new community.”
Jan has kept these lessons with her as she has made her move to Springmoor. She arrived in mid-March. Step One: get involved! She took the Springtimes activity book and signed up for every activity that she could. She tried the lectures, she tried the outings, she tried the exercise classes, and she tried the art classes. The list was long but she knew that if she didn’t step out, she would be sitting in her chair and reading all day.
Striving for Wellness
Reading all day sounds like fun but not to a great way to stay active and healthy. She volunteered to work in the library as another way to surround herself with books. She has joined the Springmoor tai chi class and the yoga class. These additions have been great for her joints and her movement. She is feeling better than ever before!
Focusing on Independence
Not only is she jumping in to activities on campus but she is also learning her way around the city of Raleigh. Starting with the surrounding neighborhoods, she has found a church, an abundance of grocery stores and many new places to eat and shop. She hopes involvement in the church will enable her to find volunteer jobs in the community. She wants to enjoy all that her new city has to offer. Continue reading →
“OLLI provides a challenge and stimulus to areas of knowledge and thinking, which stimulates my creativity, sparks long-forgotten areas of interest, and helps me discover new insights and thinking.” (OLLI member)
– The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload
– From Seeking Rights to Wielding Power: Women and the Supreme Court
– I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool: Author, Lee Smith
– History of Electricity – A Shocking Tale
– The Governors I Have Known
– Study Trip – Carolina Tiger Rescue
These are just a few of the many OLLI course offerings for Spring 2017.
In the Beginning
The continuing education program for older adults began at NC State in 1991. Originally named Encore, the classes began with a group of 653 participants. Today, the program has grown to over 1,500 active annual members. With 108 short courses, 56 lectures, 22 study trips and 218 volunteer instructors; it is a program that members say they participate in for the “joy of learning.”
With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, the need for intellectually challenging learning experiences will continue to increase. Bernard and Barbro Osher saw a need in the field of education to help this generation live a healthy and stimulating life style. Retirees with vast experiences need a way to stay engaged, share their backgrounds, help in the community and broaden their own education.
Beginning with an initial grant to the Fromm Institute, an educational and charitable foundation, the Oshers spent years researching possible ways to offer lifelong learning programs to seasoned adults. They wanted to offer opportunities for volunteer leadership, engage emeritus university faculty and offer exciting courses (without exams) in a college setting. Today the OLLI program is offered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 120 university campuses.
Members have been quoted as saying that they have “fallen in love with learning,” often signing up for more courses than time allows. Sharing life experiences and careers has brought new groups of friends together. Their intellectual and social horizons are being expanded with each class they take. Dr. Mary Bitterman, President of The Bernard Osher Foundation, says “older adults consider retirement not as the end of a boring or demanding job but as the opportunity to do more.”
She describes retirement as the “3rd age or midcourse” for adults 65+ years old. They are ready for a second or third career. This age group wants to be productively engaged and establish new patterns and a new network of friends as they step into retirement. Learning experiences and social facilitation are what make OLLI such and important resource for many in our community.
Not only do members take courses but they also volunteer in Wake County, teach classes, recruit new members and assist with administrative duties within the program. You will find NC State OLLI members at The Food Bank of Raleigh, Stop Hunger Now, A Note in the Pocket and other non-profit organizations throughout the city. Linda Denison, an active Springmoor participant, helps write the newsletter and volunteer her time at the Food Bank.
With only a $50 yearly membership fee, participants also have access to many of the NC State facilities and activities on campus. Jan Christensen, another active OLLI participant, enjoys the extra Wolfpack activities of campus theatre and sporting events. One OLLI member was quoted as saying that taking classes at The McKimmon Center proves to be quite an inspiring walk as he crosses the campus. Mixing with a college-aged crowd keeps him healthy, engaged, informed and optimistic. Privileges to the library system, discounts and the Corner Café and the Campus Cinema are available. Cultural events and the Stewart Theatre and the Thompson Theatre are also easily accessible to members. Free admission to non-revenue Wolfpack sporting events is also a wonderful perk.
Jan says that many of the courses fill-up even before the ink is dry on the semester brochures. She and fellow Springmoor neighbor, Dottie Davis, use their online registration each semester. The instructors, mostly Professors Emeritus from Meredith College, William-Peace University and NC State can be found leading the classes. Area authors, Lee Smith and Jim Clark can fill up a 150-seat classroom quickly.
Field trips accompany many of the offerings. Jim Clark’s latest class is scheduled for a four-night trip to Asheville to finish his Mountain Women by Mountain Men. Jan is taking a class now on Brazil. She has toured the country before and found this a great way to “see” it again! Continue reading →
If it’s Wednesday, everyone knows the Dining Services will be hosting “Appy Hour” later in the afternoon. This popular event happens in North Village at The Springs and South Village at The Willow Springs, our residents’ hospitality bars. Before dinner the two rooms will fill with friends and a toast to a birthday, a new grandchild or a putting green win. The laughter can be heard from around the corner and down the hall. Join us!
The Dining Services
Each Wednesday at 4:30 the Bartenders are on duty and the hot appetizers are being served. The menu can feature Mini Crab Cakes, Potato Skins, BBQ Meatballs, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Wings or a new weekly hors d’oeuvre from the Chef. The favorite is always our delicious melt-in-your-mouth Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites with a touch of ham and Swiss.
David, Dominick, Mitchell and Nate are our outstanding Bartenders. Wednesday is one of their busiest days of the week but they welcome residents every evening before dinner. The tables are painted with a board for chess or checkers and await a friendly competition between residents. The Bartenders keep the refreshment bowls filled with little nibbles and look forward to serving you with your favorite beverages.
Do you come to the Springs to watch sporting events? Do you come every week? What draws you here? The answers to all of these questions were the same, “We come for the conversation and for the camaraderie.” Seeing neighbors and friends is what draws them together. Asked if they watch sporting events together, everyone said with a laugh. “Oh, what sport is on now?” They all had to turn to see a television. This was only an afterthought to the fun times and good cheer shared with their neighbors. And of course, they all said, “We come for the food too!”
Beer and Wine Tastings are scheduled throughout the year. Saint Patrick’s Day brought a variety of green beers to the offerings. Beer from Neuse River, a local brewery, was sampled at a beer tasting event in the early spring. The brewery sent a representative to explain the brewing process and help us understand the differences in taste.
Every three months, the Dining Staff also hosts a Wine and Cheese Social. Foods and beverages for tasting are chosen depending on the season. Pairing the selections of wine and cheese is always the highlight of the event. The staff is helpful in explaining the tastes that work well together. They also offer wines that can be purchased during the event. Continue reading →
“Being able to read at grade level is a predictor of success and high school graduation,” says Kati Mullan, executive director of Read and Feed. “If you can read, you can do anything.”
Springmoor welcomes Heather Cross, Read and Feed’s Volunteer Coordinator, to our Resident’s Association Meeting today. For those that heard her speak before you know that she is very inspiring and passionate about their outreach activities in Wake County.
Last September, we traveled to the Cary offices to help assemble 600 tote bags to begin the year’s program. One group of Springmoor volunteers helped with the morning shift and another followed in the afternoon. Together, they began our first partnership with Read and Feed.
Read and Feed – in the Beginning
In October of 2007, Jan Frantz, Read and Feed’s founder, quit her corporate job, purchased an RV and drove it to Penny Road Elementary in Cary. As a volunteer tutor at Northwood Elementary, she began to see that every child’s opportunities are not the same. Struggling to read on an empty stomach is difficult. Having no reading resources at home adds to the problem facing many of Wake County’s lower income students.
Jan spent many months researching the issues these children face. She found that seventy-four percent of children not reading on grade level by the third grade would find it impossible to ever catch up. As the subjects get more complex, reading becomes more and more important. If a child can’t read, their struggles begin. Confidence is lost, grades are low and bad behavior can start.
Providing a nurturing environment as well as a warm meal makes learning so much easier. Each child in the program spends a little more than an hour with a volunteer each week. Eating, reading, listening, and spelling vocabulary words fill their hour. The program comes to the areas where the children are in the greatest need. The RV is driven to sites close to their homes. Two groups are served each night in local community centers or in the Read and Feed RV. The child is given three books each night to take home with them.
Jan has since partnered with the Interfaith Food Shuttle to provide warm meals. Food is also donated or purchased at a discount from local restaurants. She has found volunteers across the county and continues fund-raising events so that the program can bring all of our children up to grade level.
The Food Drive Begins
Springmoor will participate this month with the collection and assembly of the children’s food bags. The bags will be filled with food for the children to eat during their spring break. Without a school breakfast and lunch program, many children in Wake County go without a meal during their day.
We are asking for donations of food as well as financial support. Our teams will pack each bag with three meals for a day or bags with snacks for the seven-day vacation. Springmoor will provide the tote bag and the food for each bag. The collection bins have been filling up but we are still in need of a few specific items: pasta, pasta sauce, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, dried beans and canned milk.
The Convenience Store in our North Village lobby is an easy way to shop for your donations. The items most needed for the children’s bags are marked for easy shopping. You may also pick up items during your weekly grocery store run.
Assembling the bags will take place at the end of our food drive, the last week of March. On April 3, we will take a bus trip to Fox Road Elementary School to deliver our Read and Feed donations. A second trip on April 4 is planned for the Homestead neighborhood’s Read and Feed site. Our Resident Life Department is asking for volunteers for all of these activities. We would love to have your help! Continue reading →
Dorothea Dix Hospital was once home for 2,700 patients diagnosed with mental illness. In 1974, there were 282 buildings on 2,300 acres in downtown Raleigh. Parts of the original property have been sold or leased to N.C. State University and the City of Raleigh. Today, the remaining 308 acres and office buildings at Dorothea Dix have become home to a new vision for the State of North Carolina and the City of Raleigh.
As Marjorie O’Rorke, a Springmoor resident says, “With all of the new condos and housing options being built downtown there is an important need for the city to have a place to exercise, learn and play.” What began as a volunteer position at Dix for this young nurse turned into a 40-year volunteer adventure. She and her husband came to North Carolina when he enrolled in law school at Duke. With a graduate degree in nursing from Yale, she continued her nursing career as a Duke surgical supervisor. Living in Raleigh, it was important to her to also find a volunteer activity to keep her busy.
While she was volunteering at Dix, the Director asked if she would be interested in developing a picture project of Dorothea Dix. Much had been written about the 1848 establishment of the property, the legislature’s continuing role, the nursing school, the 1926 fire and the patient care through 1970. She was given the task to document the years from 1970 to 2008. With an undergraduate degree in history and her nursing background, this project was a wonderful combination of her skills. Little did she know that it would take 20 years and many fundraising appeals to finish the project. Never did she think that she was going to write a book. Finishing the project during the recession proved to be an uphill battle for publishing her work. With the help of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources and the Office of Archives and History, Haven on the Hill, was finally put into print.
Her research was all written in longhand. As she said, “I never took typing in high school,” she said, “Oh, this project would have been much easier” if she had! Today, as she continues to help, she pulls out her iPad to correspond with the volunteer committees she is still involved with in the future of this exciting project. The Dix Park Conservancy volunteers have traveled to New York, St. Louis and other cities to look at parks and conservation projects.
In 2003, the state began construction of a new mental health hospital in Butner. The State of North Carolina and the City of Raleigh have come to an agreement on the sale of the property and Marge’s volunteer role continues with the Dix Park Conservancy. She has served on the Dix Park board with other interested citizens and as a consultant for the legacy committee to promote, preserve and educate the history of the hospital. She is an advocate for Mental Health Services. With the help of a younger volunteer, she has made a power point presentation that she uses when she speaks to groups.
Her vision for Dix Hill is to have a museum to educate the visitors and preserve the history of the institution. The families of the patients, she says, “play an important roll in keeping the history alive.” She would like to see recreation, restaurants and a “place to play” along with the museum. She cares deeply about the staff that worked at the hospital. They will always be an inspiration to her. Continue reading →